LAS VEGAS, Nevada, USA—The American Sikh Council (ASC) (formerly known as World Sikh Council America Region) expressed their shocked at the mass murder which took place on Sunday night outside the Mandalay Hotel on the famous strip in downtown Las Vegas.
A 64 year old white terrorist named Stephen Paddock shot over 58 innocent people dead, who were enjoying an outdoor country music concert. Currently there are over 515 wounded according to reports by BBC. This is the deadliest mass murder in our country’s recent history.
American Sikh Council President Dr. Gurdas Singh stated, “Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to the families of the victims of this appalling and unprecedented violence. Innocent citizens have been shot in many locations over and over again across our nation and this kind of terrorism must stop.”
The American Sikh Council stands firmly against all kinds of terrorism and homegrown terrorists who must be denounced in the strongest possible terms and brought to justice.
According to news reports, “Witnesses described seeing flashes of light high up in the tower of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and a sound ‘like firecrackers’ as ‘clip after clip’ was unloaded into the 40,000-strong crowd.”
Stephen Paddock, a white man from Mesquite, Nevada, was believed to have been firing down at concert-goers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Hotel room.
Paddock was retired and according to the media previously lived in Reno, Nevada, California and Florida.
The local Swat team used a measured explosion to enter the hotel room, where Paddock was found dead, according to a police statement. They located numerous firearms including semi-automatic rifles in the hotel room.
Police confirmed that two off-duty police officers were among the dead, and at least two more officers on-duty, were also injured. One is in a stable condition after surgery and the other sustained minor injuries.
The FBI and multiple federal, state and local security agencies are assisting Las Vegas police.
The ASC urged all Gurdwaras and other Sikh institutions to hold candle light vigils, organize or join with any local rallies being held against hate and bigotry, donate blood, and continue to educate non-Sikh neighbors about the Sikh message of universal brotherhood/sisterhood to spread peace and inclusiveness as directed by our faith founders.
The American Sikh Council also urged all Sikh Americans to be vigilant and make sure that there are security measures in place for the respective Gurdwaras and sangats. These are trying times and it is up to us to be proactive and be prepared to keep everyone safe.